When a child begins to learn to write they are simultaneously employing multiple processes and body parts: visual (eye/hand coordination), tactile (hands), and fine motor skills (hands). Through brain mapping, researchers have found that the act of writing in cursive stimulates both the left and the right hemispheres of the brain, in ways that print and typing do not. This synchronicity between the two hemispheres increases brain development in the areas of language, thinking, and working memory. The more the neurons were activated and connections made, the greater the learning and retention of new information, benefiting the student further down the road.
The main reason for reading is to gain information, how you receive the information is unimportant. In fact, reading to your child and/or using audiobooks and immersion readers can only help increase your child’s reading skills.
Controlled readers or decodable books are books that contain only the phonetic sounds and skills your child has mastered. And, yes, they are important! Give a student a book they can fully decode and they can not only practice their learned decoding skills, but also increase their confidence and reading fluency.
The ramifications for not doing so can be enormous, both on personal and societal levels. Every year student waits to receive effective intervention levels, the effect of the intervention diminishes 25%-50%. Early identification and intervention is four times more effective than taking the “wait to fail” path.